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How apprentices are helping Childreach International support its fundraisers

How apprentices are helping Childreach International support its fundraisers

Childreach International has announced that it is about to take on an apprentice for the fourth year running.

The London-based international children’s rights and protection charity took on its last apprentice in September 2016 through Step Forward. This was the second year Childreach International had taken on an apprentice in the role of Fundraising Assistant with the aim of improving support for its fundraisers, while also providing the apprentice with valuable work experience.

Step Forward is one-year programme for young people in London aged 17-20, and is run by The Challenge Network. It currently has apprentices at around 100 organisations in London, and in 2017 will provide 260 apprentices across seven courses, which each cover such specific skills areas as accountancy, programming, website development, digital marketing and business administration. Apprentices receive training and experience, including a job with an employer for 12 months and a £9,000 salary along with regular professional development training, and support from a fully trained personal mentor.

The role at Childreach International involves many elements, including:

  • The first point of contact for fundraisers, most of which are students, and providing them with prompt phone and email support
  • Managing the online resources for fundraisers (and uploading images of successful events)
  • Applying for permission for public collections and getting fundraisers involved; Helping with organising internal events
  • Generally providing logistical and administrative support to the fundraising team members including posting and emailing information packs and other details to fundraisers.

Last year, apprentice Liban Dahir joined Childreach International as the Fundraising Assistant in September 2016 through a one-year Business Administration apprenticeship. Liban passed his A-Levels at school and will be going to read Geography at Manchester University this September, using the apprenticeship to gain valuable workplace skills and experience to inform his future career.

childreach international Liban

Apprentice Liban Dahir

Edward Sainsbury is Head of Events at the charity, where he oversees a team of five people responsible for 800 volunteer fundraisers at universities across the country. They raise over £1.5 million each year and are one of the charity’s main sources of income, making up over 80% of the charity’s fundraising income.

He said:

“This is the third year running that we have had an apprentice, and the second year running they have taken on the Fundraising Assistant role. The creation of this role has been very beneficial for the quality of support being provided to our fundraisers, particularly as the rest of the team spend a lot of time on the road so it is really useful to have someone based in the office as a constant point of contact. Also, most of our fundraisers are university students and it is really beneficial to have someone of a similar age they can deal with.”

He added:

“We’ve seen a big increase in the quality of fundraising support offered by my team to our volunteer fundraisers from the creation of this apprentice post. I’ve been very impressed with how he has taken everything in his stride and got really stuck in.

“My advice for employers considering an apprentice is to make the role quite dynamic and have plenty of things for the apprentice to get involved with. You have to remember they are new to the workplace, so the apprentice needs to be well managed with a very structured approach: it is very different to having a graduate.”

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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